Polymers

Well… are you struggling with polymers? Because this is where the hard part steps its big foot into the exam papers, unfortuantly :|. Polymers…. what are they? Well, they are a LONG tangled strands of molecules all knitted together making chains forming a material. They can bend and twist and even get tangled up just like a ball of string! And remember this… the longer the polymer chain is, the more tangled up it can get. Some polymer chains can be stiff and strong. This is because the polymer chains can bunch up and stick together to make them almost unbreakable. You may find rubbery, gooey, sticky, or even as tough as steel chainsbecause of how the chain molecules are arranged and connected.

Polymer ChainsThink of molecules as a little weak rubber band. If you stretch the rubber band a bit too far then you may break the rubber band quickly and easily. And if you grab a whole set of rubber bands and attempt to pull them apart all in one go, it may be a bit too hard to break. So some molecules are strong and some are weak. Get that into your head, ok? Large chained molecules would be harder to pull apart because they may be more organised and inside the molecules may have neatly arranged themselves into little sections which could be almost unbreakable. Stubborn things aren’t they?

But imagine dumping a few chains into a liquid. What will happen then? They’ll dissolve and the long polymer chains would take ages to budge a millimetre. So get this in your head too: The longer the chain molecules, the slower the flow.

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